Woburn Abbey Today

Your Guide to Woburn Abbey

Woburn Abbey first opened to the public in 1955 and has welcomed visitors from all over the globe. There are 22 rooms that you can experience, which house one of the most significant private art collections in the world.

As you explore the many individual rooms of Woburn Abbey, you will also discover 18th-century French and English furniture, magnificent silver and gold collections, in the underground vaults, and a marvellous range of porcelain and many privately collected items treasured by generations of the Russell family.

These captivating rooms and fascinating antiques show a personal side to a public family that has been instrumental in many significant periods of English history.  

Image for Woburn Abbey Today The 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford

400 years of history

The Abbey has been the home of the Earls and Dukes of Bedford, one of England's most powerful families, since the 1620s. It is currently the home of the 15th Duke and Duchess of Bedford and their children. Russell family members have included Prime Ministers, Ambassadors, Lord High Admirals and philosophers over the centuries and provide a direct link to the events of the past that shaped the England of today. 

> Our Family Tree

Image for Woburn Abbey Today One of our views of Venice by Canaletto

Over 250 works of art

View one of the most outstanding collections of art works on public display. These include:

  • The largest private collection of Venetian views painted by Canaletto on public view
  • The Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I
  • Artists such as Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Reynolds, and Van Dyck
  • Artworks by Queen Victoria and Richard Stone

> Art and the Collection

Image for Woburn Abbey Today The Grotto

22 Rooms To Discover

The splendid rooms include:

  • The unique Grotto which dates from the 1630s
  • The State Apartments with original 18th-century architecture
  • The Holland Library which is one of the largest private libraries with an extensive collection of natural history books
  • Underground vaults housing the family's gold and silver collection
  • The Chinese Room with its decorative wallpaper

> Must See Treasures

Image for Woburn Abbey Today Woburn Abbey is an example of Palladian architecture

At The Heart of an English Palladian Home

The Abbey has been at the centre of social and political history which includes tales of political reform, Royal State visits, imprisonment, beheading, grand tours, love affairs and more. Famous house guests have included monarchs, politicians, leading naturalists, famous designers, architects and adventurers. 

> Our Timeline

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Events & Exhibitions

Image for Père David's Deer From Beijing to Woburn and Back

Père David's Deer From Beijing to Woburn and Back

Celebrate the historic return of Père David's Deer to China. 30 years ago 18 deer from the Woburn herd were reintroduced into their native China. The herd has grown to the thousands. Learn their fascinating story. Located in the grounds of the Abbey in North Court.
Image for Come and Grow: First Saturday of each month

Come and Grow: First Saturday of each month

Woburn Abbey Gardeners are on hand to discuss and demonstrate gardening skills at this month's Come and Grow.
Image for Family Day: First Sunday of each month

Family Day: First Sunday of each month

Spend some quality family time in Woburn Abbey Gardens and let the children explore and get creative.
Image for Woburn Abbey Venison for Sale

Woburn Abbey Venison for Sale

From November 2015 until February 2016 we are once again offering the opportunity for you to buy venison of the highest quality directly from Woburn Abbey. The deer roam freely over 3,000 acres of mixed traditional park land, enjoying a stress-free life and are primarily grass-fed.
Image for Introduction to Night Photography

Introduction to Night Photography

A great opportunity to learn the basics of digital photography at night.
Image for A Touch of West End

A Touch of West End

Woburn's Sculpture Gallery is delighted to welcome back A Touch of West End this December for a fabulous evening of fine dining and musical entertainment.
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Spring Gardening Skills

Let the Woburn Abbey Gardens team give you the confidence to tackle the jobs in your own garden with this seasonal session.
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Kitchen Gardening

Learn a variety of skills to take away and use in your own Kitchen Garden.
Image for Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2016

Woburn Abbey Garden Show 2016

Whether you are a gardening expert, handy with a trowel or never potted a plant before, all are welcome at ‘The Gardener’s Garden Show’, back for its seventh year in 2016.